It’s a Walmart love story.

Unlikely and wonderful. She has that pink ribbon just barely clinging to her few whispy baby hairs and still smells of the parmesan chicken she smeared all over the place during lunch.

Baggers and shoppers, grandmas and tired looking dads all smile at her.

She gums back at them, flashing two bottom teeth and we try to find Pete and the boys in the bedding aisle. I’ve been promising Jackson a down pillow for months and today we brave the Saturday crazy to find them. Somehow cowboy boots make it into the cart too.

And she watches it all and clings with tiny fingers to the front of the stroller tray and I wheel her around pillow pets and fish bowls. Fast, hurried but not lost. She knows I’m right behind her, the impetus in this rush.

When we’re slowing to look for the right toothpaste a woman tells me how beautiful her eyes are. I thank her and can’t help myself from agreeing. Beautiful and deep blue echoes of her grandpa’s – yes, I know.

And then we’re away.

With so much more I could say.

Her blue eyes are only the beginning I want to tell them. Her blue eyes are just the window into the wonder that is this daughter of mine. I could tell you, Walmart lady, of the early mornings when we just lie and look at each other – this baby girl who has my eyes.

We lie in bed and she lets one of her hands lazily trace the outline of my mouth, my eyebrow, my ear. We look and I see the echo of myself. I see the beginning. She pokes and pulls and I scrunch up eyelids and smile despite the insistence of tiny nails.

Then there are the days when she just crawls around the house in my tracks. Crawls and laughs and calls out to me and I talk back to her – we chat, my ten month old daughter and I. She is interested in me. As interested in me as I am in her. There is a smile that comes slowly and ends in dimples when I sneak up at her from behind corners.

Give us laundry or dishes or books or naptime and we share secrets.

There is a womanhood that connects us as powerful as any umbilical cord.

Tenderly.

Right there in the pinto beans aisle.

::

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